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PLACIDOCHROMIS ELECTRA





PLACIDOCHROMIS ELECTRA (male)



PLACIDOCHROMIS ELECTRA (male - close up)

A species related (in terms of behavior and coloration) to Cyrtocara moorii. It belongs to the "Happies" group which also includes many species I keep in my non-mbuna tank (Sciaenochromis ahli, Protomelas ornatus, Protomelas taeniolatus, Cyrtocara moorii). Will grow to 20 cm (males) and 16-17 cm (females). If a tank is to house more than 5-6 members of the Happies group it should be at least 200 cm in length with a minimum water capacity of 600 Liters. The male has a characteristic black vertical bar crossing its eye (sometimes in the body, too), dark lower fins, a yellow perimetric band at the edge of the dorsal fin and a different shape than most tankmates which reduces aggression (with the exception of some occasional chasing by the adult Cyrtocara moorii). 

Will eat anything offered. Usually it will pick the food other cichlids drop from the bottom of the tank. A relatively peaceful species (for an African) will use the tank length for swimming though very rarely in the upper part of the water column. The hobbyist should know that males of this species - as with many other Malawi Haps - takes a very long time to reach sexual maturity, final size and develop its magnificent coloration. In view of that, the hobbyist should either wait patiently until this happens or buy already adult fish, which do not come cheap.

Minimum tank size : 150 cm / 500 liters.

Close-up shot: 100 ASA film, 300 mm lens, f/11, 1/60 sec, auto-bellows, Sunpack flash unit (GN:36 at 1/8th setting) taped over the lens, shot from a distance of 80 cm. Flash head tilted slightly to avoid reflections from the glass. Hand-held camera.

Top Photo shot in January 2000. 

See next page for more photos.

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